No pain, no gain

When I woke up this morning, as my feet slowly moved from under the covers and onto the floor, I began to awaken to the fact that my body was in a bit of pain, quite a bit of pain. I noticed the soreness and stiffness all over my body. It was so tight and achy, as if I had been in a car accident and recovering from whip lash. My mind was grasping for the memories of how and what happened to put my body into this state and then, ding, ding, ding, I remembered!!! I ran a marathon yesterday! My first marathon!

Once I remembered, the recollections of my marathon journey began flooding in and an overwhelming sense of happiness, excitement and joy fueled my mood.

Funny how the initial sensation of pain, discomfort and stiffness were the triggers, the reminders, of the great accomplishment I had achieved. And it is often this way in life. For every great achievement, for every truly great victory, there is a battle. There is an obstacle, there is something that we deeply wish we could avoid and work around to end the pain, but if we give up the obstacle and pain, we give up the victory.

That marathon was a challenge, let me tell you. The first 20 miles were a walk in the park, but those last 6 miles, dang- I thought would be the death of me, but it was in the last 6 miles that I saw what I was really made of. It was in the last 6 miles that some of the best moments were birthed.

Our lowest times and our darkest emotions lay the groundwork for us to have the ability to achieve our greatest victories. So, why then do we try to end the pain, avoid the discomfort, and delay stepping up to the challenge? Cause it hurts!

Take a moment now to consider what you are avoiding, delaying or resisting? Identify it. Then think about what it will look like on the other side when you cross your finish line, when you overcome that obstacle. What it is going to feel like? Amazing for sure! Confidence up, energy high!

For some of you reading this, your battle today is to embrace the belief that YOU CAN cross your finish line. Victory is possible. You will overcome. Take courage to simply see and believe that you will finish strong!

For others, you know you will conquer. You know you will finish, but you are not enjoying the journey. It stopped being fun and you are just pushing through, unhappy and cranky. It’s making the journey longer than it has to feel and it’s robbing you of your desire to keep going. My encouragement is for you to enjoy the journey.

It reminds me of when Kaleb and I were on mile 22, we officially hit our wall and didn’t feel like we could even walk across the finish line. We were trying to just push through and that strategy was actually working against us. Every mile felt like ten, not one. We were complaining about the pain. We were whining about the fact that we were so slow and getting passed up by eighty year olds (no offense to eighty year olds, but Kaleb and I are in our early 30′s). We were even fearing whether or not they would give us a medal. We were criticizing ourselves for our lack of training. We were not having fun.

Just when I thought we wouldn’t make it because it was just too far away, we heard some people on the side, sitting outside at a bar offering, “Come get your beer! Have a beer on us.” My running partner and brother, Kaleb thought, “No way, I’m not stopping and having a beer. I’m running a marathon.”

I was starving and when I heard “beer” I heard “wheat, barely, food” so I went for it. I walked over and grabbed one for me and one for Kaleb. I even got a slice of pizza too! We chatted with our new friends for about five minutes. I finished my pizza. Kaleb finished his beer and mine and we left refreshed, charged up and with probably the most memorable moment of our marathon journey.

So, what did I learn from my marathon? A lot more than I can share in this one Monday Motivation. I’m sure I’ll have a message coming out soon about training, but I won’t go there today. I’m just happy to be alive.

However, the 2 key learnings for today’s message are:

1) Appreciate the pain. It is producing the victory and will actually cause the victory to be all the sweater!

2) Enjoy your journey. It’s where the greatest memories are created!

Have a great week and do something you have never done before! It’s FUN!

With Love and Volition,